From Einstein to Homer Simpson: Books of the Year

PD Smith in Kafka’s mouse:

SimpsonsOne of the most significant cultural events of 2007 was undoubtedly The Simpsons Movie. The contribution of Homer Jay Simpson (aka the “Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”) to science is often sadly overlooked. Physicist Stephen Hawking is a great fan of the TV show and has appeared twice. He knows a good scientific idea when he sees one and Homer’s theory that the universe is shaped like a donut made an immediate impression: “intriguing….I may have to steal it.” This as well as many other weird and wonderful scientific moments in the series – such as what processes could produce Blinky the Three-Eyed Fish and do toilets in the northern and southern hemispheres really swirl in opposite directions (as Lisa claims in “Bart vs Australia”) – are explained in What’s Science Ever Done for Us? What The Simpsons can teach us about Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe, by Paul Halpern. A delightful book; as Montgomery Burns might say: “Exx-cellent!”

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